What's going on with the forum?

Date published: Wednesday 18th of January 2017

Some of you may have noticed that the forum is currently down.

Let me explain what's going on.

The forum was basically a rush job. I built the whole thing in about two hours, at a time when there were literally no members in the Insider Club, apart from me.

Now, let's be honest. There's only a handful of regulars who use the forum. I get that. Nevertheless, I never dreamed that we'd end up having well over three and a half thousand people in board the Insider Club fun bus. Sure enough, with the kind of numbers we've been enjoy - it was only a matter of time before some plonker appeared who started posting negative vibes.

So, for a few weeks, it has come to my attention that there is some total shyster displaying unfunny, irritating garbage. A troll.

At the moment I have no means of dealing with malicious forum characters. So, I have no IP addresses recorded. I have no code for blacklisting and I don't even have the ability to edit comments. What's worse, when I built the forum I rushed out one or two features which - in hindsight, were kinda rubbish. For example:

PHP has a habit of logging people out after ten minutes of inactivity. So, if you're writing a long post then it's possible that you could hit submit and be logged out. Right? So, in order to stop that from happening, I rushed out a thing that put a hidden variable into the forum comments. A sort of backup user ID. So, if you were logged out then the idea was - at least your post wouldn't be lost.

That turned out to be a pretty stupid feature because any idiot can submit a forum with a hidden 'backup_user_id' variable and therefore appear to be posting as somebody else. This appears to be what has happened and I think it is causing distress to some forum members.

In any event, I'm going to rebuild not only the forum but the whole website. I'm confident that I can patch up the hole(s) that our forum troll has found.

I am considering a tutorial serious on how to build an online discussion forum and I'll be delighted to explain how the forum works, to anyone who is interested. There are no secrets.

I'll keep you posted on the vibe.

Talk soon,

DC

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